Sunday, May 7, 2017

May 7, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Just for fun: "Star Wars - Jar Jar's End"
BlobVanDam (2 min.)

Firearms/Prepping/Self-Defense:
  • "Why the M27 IAR Is NOT the Right Rifle for the Marine Corps"--The Firearms Blog. Nathaniel F. discusses the good points and the bad points of the M27. However, the primary reason it is not the right rifle is that it is obsolete. The weapon was developed in the early 2000s and selected based on a 2007 RFI. Simply put, there have been numerous advances developed in the consumer market that would provide a lighter, more durable weapon than the M27, including better trigger systems, the adoption of mid-length gas systems, and better systems for free floating the barrel. 
  • "Central Ohio Antifa: Military Training for 'Urban Guerilla Tactics'?"--The Truth About Guns. There is an alleged screen capture from Central Ohio Antifa's Facebook group (the group is private, so the author could not confirm it) wherein the Antifa group is urging its members to obtain military style training through the "John Brown Militia," which, according to the group, have land in South Dakota.  The John Brown Militia's Facebook page does sport a mixture of Anarchist and Communist logos. 
  • "Arrow Speed and Kinetic Energy"--Long Range Hunting. A discussion of ballistics for archery, and the trade offs between a light weight (and, therefore, faster) arrow and a heavier (but slower) arrow. Basically, light weight/faster gives you a flatter trajectory and shorter flight times, which equals better accuracy for most archers. However, the heavier arrows produce less noise and will provide better penetration. 
  • "Preppers, Resources Around A Rural Farm"--All Outdoor. This article seems to presume scavenging from an abandoned family (i.e., small) farm, or perhaps acquiring such a farm with everything still in place. The first item mentioned by the author is seeds, particularly for gardening, that might be found in an old freezer or root cellar.  Next are parts. In my experience, many small rural farms generally have a "junkyard" of old equipment and vehicles. The author notes that a lot of these small farms would sport orchards, water sources, and potentially some livestock of some sort.
  • "I’ll take a Gin Pole, straight up."--Preservation Timber Framing. A Gin Pole is a type of simple crane, using a long straight pole, tackle attached to the end raised into the air, and some guy ropes in addition to the ropes running through the tackle. The article describes using it to raise framed wall sections from off the ground to an upright position.
  • "Alternatives to the Face Shot"--Gabe Suarez. The side of the head and the back of the head. The article has photographs outlining the kill zone and a discussion why you don't necessarily want an active shooter to present his face to you before shooting.
  • "One knot every survivalist should know – The Trucker Hitch"--Willow Haven Outdoor. Instructions plus a video. I may have linked to this before; if so, I apologize.
  • "Heat Storage Hypocausts: Air Heating in the Middle Ages"--Low-Tech Magazine. From the article:
      Hypocausts were heating systems that distributed the heat from an underground fire throughout a space beneath the floor. The heat was absorbed by the floor and then radiated into the room above. The effect on thermal comfort must have been similar to that of a modern-day hot water or electricity-based radiant floor heating system. The Roman hypocaust was characterised by its under-floor flue passages, created by small pillars bearing the floor's paving slabs. Sometimes, the heat was also fed through cavities in the walls before escaping from the building, thereby warming up the walls, too. 
 * * *
       With the spread of Christianity and its monasteries to Northern Europe, the Roman hypocaust proved too inefficient for the region's colder climes. The first half of the 14th century, or possibly even earlier, saw the start of the practice of piling up granite stones on the top of the furnace vault to accumulate heat. Far from a simplified medieval imitation, the heat storage hypocaust represented a further stage in the development of this ancient technology. 
           Unlike the Roman hypocaust, which was based on radiant heating, the heat storage hypocaust provided convective heating. The room to be heated featured a perforated “hot plate” above the pile of granite stones. Its perforations remained closed while the fire was burning, so that the smoke was kept out of the room and could escape through the chimney or a cavity in the wall. When the firing was complete and the furnace had been cleaned, the smoke flue was closed by means of a damper, the vents in the hot plate were opened and hot air rose from the pile of stones into the room. 
            Because of their poor heat storage capacity, Roman hypocausts had to be fired continuously. Adding a stone chamber to create the heat storage hypocaust made it easier to accumulate heat, meaning it was no longer necessary to keep the furnace constantly lit. 
    The article goes on to describe experiments in using such devices (showing that a fire need only be lit every few days to provide heat) and some specific examples. There is also a list of references.
              A shocking video shows a man body slamming an elderly woman to the ground before hurling her into a swimming pool. 
               The unidentified woman, who was also walking her two dogs, appeared to be asking a group of pool party-goers to turn down their music. 
                 As she approaches the group of people, who are believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, a woman is heard in the background yelling: 'Throw her in!'
                   A man then pops up in front of her and picks her up as they both fall to the ground. 
                     It's unclear if the man accidentally slipped and fell with the woman in his arms or if his intention was to body slam her. 
                       However, he quickly got up and grabbed the woman by her shirt and one of her legs and hurled her into the swimming pool, falling in the pool himself. 
                You should all be aware of the general rule to "avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things." This situation met all these requirements.

                Other Stuff:
                • Heh. "The Hogs of War, OFWGs and the Bear Necessities"--The Truth About Guns. A herd of swine reportedly attacked an ISIS unit attempting to set up an ambush, killing two of the ISIS soldiers and injuring three others. No word on whether the hogs suffered any casualties. 
                • The standoff at the Bundy Ranch represented, to many people, a fight between the average man and the overwhelming force of the federal government. I tried to argue that the situation was more nuanced than that, and that the Bundy's weren't necessarily "good guys." Rather, it was part of a larger debate on who should control what are termed "public lands" in the Western United States. Although the following articles don't discuss that specific incident, they do discuss the downsides to the federal government turning over lands to the states, just to give you some more to think about in the whole debate:
                Although I don't know the particulars of the Bundy ranch, I've seen other ranches in the West (primarily South West Idaho) whose roots were based on a simple strategy: under the various homestead acts, the ranchers settled and claimed the few reliable sources of water, which gave them de facto possession over vast swaths of surrounding federal land that they neither "homesteaded" per the requirements of the acts nor purchased. By right of their monopoly on the water, they historically faced no competition for obtaining leases of the federal lands that they used as ranges for their cattle. But there is now increasing competition for such lands--from the public for recreation purposes, including shooting or hunting, and from other ranchers willing to pay the money to drill wells, or even from the federal government when it decides to make such lands off limits for military purposes and/or turn it into wilderness. 
                       Experts say unauthorized migration generates billions of dollars for criminal groups in Latin America, earnings that are set to grow as a result of tightening US immigration policies.
                         Human smuggling from Latin America into the United States accounts for an estimated $7 billion in revenues for organized crime groups in the region, Felipe de la Torre, an official from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told Crónica.
                           The figure was calculated by taking into account the migratory flows along the US border, as well as the fees charged by the so-called "coyotes" or "polleros," traffickers who help people to enter the United States without authorization.
                             An estimated 57 percent of undocumented Mexican migrants repatriated by US authorities had relied on traffickers to enter the United States, according to the UNODC. In the case of migrants from other Central American countries, the figure reaches a staggering 70 percent.
                               Yet the coyotes are only one of several actors that migrants must pay to cross the border. For instance, a report from the International Crisis Group found that some smugglers have been subjugated by local organized crime groups. Coyotes and their clients must pay up to $1,000 in protection fees to these criminal networks; those who fail to pay are kidnapped. 
                                  The United States has been discovered to have established a military base in al-Wigh, an oasis in southernmost Libya, was Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documentation going back as far as 2015 on its establishment and operation.
                                    This is significant because the base’s existence was never announced to the public, and AFRICOM documents still don’t reveal the exact status and size fo the base. It is officially a “non-permanent” base, which appears to be how they managed to keep it a secret.
                              Our potential and current adversaries have the intelligence resources to discover the base, which suggests that the secrecy was not to keep adversaries knowing of the base, but to keep the American public in the dark.
                              • Heh: "Scientists ‘More Confident Than Ever’ In Global Warming After Studying The Lack Of It For 15 Years"--Daily Caller. Even though we have been told there was no hiatus, the recently published study concerned itself with the hiatus, and explanations for it, but concluded that it was not sufficient to overturn the theory of anthropogenic climate change.
                              • "In 2012, I wrote a post about Obama’s cocaine use at Occidental — it turns out I was right"--Bookworm Room. A recently published biography of Obama has painted a much different picture of the man than that sold to us by the main stream media. In it, we see a man so obsessed with political advancement that he decided against marrying a half-white woman to whom he had twice proposed, and considered becoming gay. But it also has additional evidence that Obama was addicted to cocaine. In short, Obama would have been an easy man to compromise.  
                              • "Charles Krauthammer: 'In Less Than Seven Years, We Will Be In A Single-Payer System'."--PJ Media. According to Krauthammer, despite the failure of Obama Care, it changed public perceptions such that now the issue is not whether government should be involved in health care, but to what extent.
                              • Play the smallest violin in the world: "'You're dead to me': White Arkansas father calls his teen daughter a 'f***in wh***' for taking her 'subhuman' black friend to prom in vitriolic racist rant that has shocked America"--Daily Mail. I have an alternate headline: "Spoiled Girl Shocked When Father Keeps His Word." Basic story is that the father warned her that he would cut off the young woman's auto insurance and cell phone, and other perks, that he paid for if she dated a black man. She decided to test him and is now upset that he was true to his word. 
                              • "The Moron In Full"--Z Man. The Z Man decides to discuss the failures of libertarianism. He writes: "The core libertarian impulse to leave people alone in order to be left alone is admirable. If you are a libertarian, trying hard to live the non-aggression principle, it probably seems unfair that a hate thinker from the extreme Right is mocking your thing. I get that and I respect it to a point." The problem, as he sees it, is that many (most?) libertarians believe that economic policies are the sole variable when it comes to prosperity and wealth; that the "invisible hand" is the only force with which we need concern ourselves. Z Man goes on to point out the fallacy: "The reason the country of Niger is a basket case is that’s the way the people of Niger want it. It is full of Hausa. The reason Paris was Paris was that, up until recently, it was full of Parisians! Now that Paris is filling up with North Africans and Arabs, it is looking like Algeria with better plumbing."
                              I would note that the Anonymous Conservative has explained that libertarian thinking is a strategy developed for the frontier, where the population is too small to impose resource constraints. This is probably why the United States, which for most of its history has been a "frontier" nation, has a strong libertarian and classical liberal bent. But the environment has changed. It is hard to be libertarian when your neighbor's house is within spitting distance of your own.
                              Scientists have discovered what they believe is one of the biggest impact craters in the world near the Falklands Islands. They say the crater appears to date to between 270 and 250 million years ago, which, if confirmed, would link it to the world’s biggest mass extinction event, where 96 percent of life on Earth was wiped out.
                              The article also indicates that the circular depression left by the crater is 150 miles in diameter. Presumably the crater hasn't been deformed by continental drift because it is within the boundaries of the South American plate. Interestingly, evidence indicates that life was extinct in the tropical latitudes for 5 million years following the event because temperatures became too hot

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